What would you like to introduce to your life?
Introduce no more than one or two rituals at a time
and make sure they become habitual before you introduce new ones.
"Incremental change is better than ambitious failure.
Success feeds on itself."
-- Tal Ben-Shahar, Happier, p. 9-10
It's been a mighty relaxing ten days. My break wasn't quite complete: I used Twitter, Facebook, and email a few times each to arrange logistics, and spent a couple of hours reading blogs one night to see what was going on in the world. Even so, it was a dramatically different rhythm. Which makes it a great opportunity to rethink how I'm engaging with social media.
As a first step, last night and this morning, I checked the places I usually hang out. Have I mentioned recently how much I like social networks? Usually I don't hit all of them in order, so it was interesting to compare-and-contrast. Each of them has a different feel -- and a different focus:
- my Dreamwidth reading page has comics, information about Nanowrimo, and a couple of great diversity-oriented blog posts.
- free-association, tribe.net, Diaspora *, and Google+ all have privacy and civil liberties stories I haven't read; Travel Underground and FlyerTalk cover the TSA
- Twitter, Google+ and a few of my favorite blogs have bunches of stuff on activism and politics
- Geek Feminism and (rather unexpectedly) Quora* cover women in technology
- Facebook has updates and photos from several of my closest friends and a lot of activist and professional former colleagues
- Google+ and Hacker News have tech and entrepeneurial news -- and as a bonus, Google+ also has some links on writing and some great photography
- in email, there's a conference being organized -- and my brother's sent me a funny link
It sure seems like a ridiculously long list ... in fact my first reaction was "no wonder I'm so much more relaxed when I'm taking a break from online." Then again I don't want to give any of them up -- especially since almost all of them are places where I hang out with a diverse group of people -- including some good friends -- who I don't stay in touch with any other way.** So yeah, it seems like a good time to look at my rituals.
Since I want to spend more time on Dreamwidth and Diaspora *, I'll make those the focus of my start-the-day ritual: checking them first, sharing some links on D* and writing a DW blog post, and jumping into the comments in both places.
Here's to incremental change!
PS: It's easy enough to tweet the links and share them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ as well -- and for privacy and civil liberties stories it's not so hard to cross-post them to tribe and free-association too. But at what point does it become too much and lead me to distraction? Hmm, dunno; I'll have to experiment.
* where Harvard student Alisha Ramos posted a link to her' senior thesis project Where are the ladies
** Hacker News and Quora are the exceptions here, but they're important for professional purposes.